Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Mystery Author Verlin Darrow


Name: Verlin Darrow
Book Title: Blood and Wisdom
Genre: PI mystery
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Find out more on Amazon 


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Verlin: At first, I was desperate for meaning. That’s what got me started. As a depressed young adult, fraught with existential angst and across the board over-thinking, I was never satisfied by life. I wasn’t in direct contact with the world, so I couldn’t be fed by it. When I created a manuscript, I introduced something into my experience that mattered to me—a new element that penetrated the layers of insulation I’d gathered around myself to stay safe.

However therapeutic, this era of writing was marked by a distinct lack of expertise. When I eventually began to build a skill set, I added in another motive—making money without having to work a regular job—you know, getting all sweaty, being bossed around, keeping regular hours. Not surprisingly, I failed to manage anything close to making a living writing. Perhaps I sustain a large-scale writing project as a hobby. Nope. It simply didn’t provide enough reward to motivate me.
Eventually, I had something to say, and the tools to say it. Then the early motives dropped away. Thirty years later, my ever-evolving career has produced Blood and Wisdom.

Is this your first book?

Verlin: No, it’s the third one I’ve had published, but the others were twenty years ago, using a different name. This one feels almost as if it were a debut novel, and it’s much better written.

With this particular book, how did you publishtraditional, small press, Indie, etc.and why did you choose this method?

Verlin: I tried to find an agent and didn’t even get close, so I expanded my search to independent publishers who accepted submissions directly from authors. I hit pay dirt immediately, but a little research showed me that this first option was likely to end up with typos and a dreary, derivative cover. Then Wild Rose wanted me and I wanted them, and here we are.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Verlin: The novel I was peddling before this one was a stubborn, epic journey to the heart of frustration. I queried over five hundred agents! (Yes, worldwide, over five hundred agents consider thrillers). I simply refused to accept that my project wasn’t marketable. I tried changing the title, the query letter, renaming the characters, and everything else I could think of. It was like having a weird, unenjoyable hobby for a year or so. What did I learn from this? Let that one go and write Blood and Wisdomproduce something that people wanted to read.

The pros for me: it’s deeply satisfying to finish projects, if I don’t create, I’m not happy, and validation from the industry offsets a lot of heartache.

The cons: the time-consuming nature of trying to attract attention for a project, the drudgy parts of writing itself, and the anticlimax of having my book in my hand (as of yesterday, as I write this), and still not entering a state of permanent bliss.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Verlin: The market dictates what level you enter into its world. I needed to accept that an agent and/or a big house wasn’t interested in the likes of me, and move on to who was.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Verlin: So far, so good. My publisher has treated me well and provided professional editing and cover art. They’re not set up to do promotional or publicity work, so I have to muster that on my own. My route is probably not the best way to maximize income, but that’s okay with me.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Verlin: Write a lot. Then write some more. My skills only improved through lots and lots of words. And put your ego to the side when you receive feedback.

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About the book:

When Private Investigator Karl Gatlin takes on Aria Piper’s case, it was no more than a threat—phone calls warning Aria to either “stop doing Satan’s work” or meet an untimely demise.  But a few hours later, a headless John Doe bobs up in the wishing well at Aria’s New Age spiritual center near Santa Cruz.  Aria had ideas about who could be harassing her, but the appearance of a dismembered body makes for a real game changer.  And what Karl Gatlin initially thought was a fairly innocuous case turns out to be anything but.

Dispatching former rugby superstar and Maori friend John Ratu to protect Aria, Karl and his hacker assistant Matt are free to investigate a ruthless pastor, a money launderer on the run, some sketchy members of Aria’s flock, and warring drug gangs.  With his dog Larry as a wingman, Karl uncovers a broad swath of corruption, identity theft, blackmail, and more murders. But nothing is as it seems, and as the investigation heats up, Karl is framed, chased, and forced to dive into the freezing water of the Monterey Bay to escape a sniper.

Against the backdrop of a ticking clock, Karl races to find answers. But more murders only mean more questions—and Karl is  forced to make an impossible choice when it turns out Aria’s secret may be the most harrowing of all…

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets of Amber Leigh Williams, Author of Navy SEAL's Match


Amber Leigh Williams is a romance writer who lives on the US Gulf Coast. She lives for beach days, the smell of real books and spending time with her husband and their two young children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), she can usually be found reading a good book or indulging her inner foodie. Amber is represented by the D4EO Literary Agency.

Amber’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Navy SEAL’S Match.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: Thank you for having me! I don’t think I had a choice other than to become a writer. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an overwhelming urge to tell stories. Since I was quiet, the most natural way for me to be a storyteller was with pencil and paper.
I had to tell the story of Navy SEAL’s Match in particular because the characters, Gavin Savitt and
Mavis Bracken, haunted me. I felt that they had their own story to tell and I’m very glad they did. I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent with them.
Is this your first book?
Amber: This is my sixth novel.  
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Amber: I was very happy when the editors at Harlequin Superromance chose to work with me on this series. Since I began reading romance years ago, I wanted to be a Harlequin romance writer.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Amber: I worked with a small press writing western romance novellas. I decided that I prefer the novel format, but I stayed with contemporary romance because I felt I had found my niche there. I’m glad of my experience with small press leading up to traditional publishing because it allowed me room to grow and learn what it was to be a professional. Once I was accepted by Harlequin, I felt confident in my voice and in dealing with the legalities of publishing.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Amber: I initially worked with a small press publisher who didn’t honor its contractual obligations. It made me wary of the traps of the business. Another reason I found working with an established publishing house so welcoming is because I felt a bit safer in that medium. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Amber: Many writers feel more comfortable in small press and indie publishing so as long as you’re cautious and you pay attention to the business side of it as well as the creative aspects, I’d recommend writers free themselves to whatever format suits them best.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Amber: Write the book of your heart. If you can follow publishing trends and stay ahead of what the consumer wants, that’s great. But don’t be afraid to write the book of your heart. When you write what you’re most passionate about, it shows. When you write what most inspires you, your voice becomes stronger and more grounded. The reader feels that and is more able to connect with the story and characters, too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets of Judy Serrano, Author of Linked @authorjserrano


Judy Serrano holds a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University, Commerce. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Service, and was an adjunct professor at a local college. Currently she teaches high school English and is a freelance writer for certain on-line publications. Judy also writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series,The Linked Seriesand Ivy Vines, Visions.

Although originally from New York, Judy resides in Texas with her husband, four boys, four dogs and now two cats. She sings and plays guitar when she has time and enjoys singing with her very musical family in church when she is able.

Her latest book is the paranormal romance, LINKED.


BOOK BLURB:

Daphne Foster is a substitute teacher stuck in an English class, waiting for that dreaded parent-teacher conference. With much preparation and anxiety, she encounters the unforgettable Charlie Cross. His charm and good looks, win her over but rumors of his involvement with organized crime make his continued disappearances disturbing. In walks Heathcliff Vanderpool, creating a love triangle of unusual sorts. Unknown to Daphne, Heathcliff and Charlie are old friends: Older than she could have imagined. With Charlie away on business, Daphne and Heathcliff discover a passion between them lying beneath the surface. As their souls link, pulling away from Charlie becomes next to impossible. Will his involvement in organized crime consume them both before she’s able to get free? When you become “linked,” the choice may not be your own.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

AMAZON

B&N


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book? 
I wrote The Easter’s Lilly Series first, which is a mafia romance. I really enjoy that genre, so I thought it might be interesting to write a Mafia romance that was paranormal. I am a HUGE fan of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and True Blood, so I wanted to try my hand at it. Besides, what could be sexier than a vampire carrying a gun.
Is this your first book? 
No, Linked is not my first book. I wrote The Easter’s Lilly Series first, which is a mafia romance. I also have Ivy Vines, Visions, which is a romance/thriller that starts out with a little girl using a Ouija board. If there is a lesson learned from reading Ivy, it’s, “Don’t play with things that you don’t understand.”
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method? 
I went with a small press. I started with a press that originally picked up my first book. I was grateful that they picked me, and at the time, I was writing books like wild-fire, and they were publishing them as soon as they came out of me. I was given a lot of freedom to tell the story I wanted to tell, and the wait time was minimal to see my books in print. I eventually went to a different small press for various reasons. I have a new book, and I am looking for an agent or a bigger publisher. I think I am ready now for the responsibilities of publishing on a larger scale. Writing is my passion, and nothing would give me greater joy than to be able to write full-time.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons? 
My journey started in 2010. I published my first novel and started my own editing business. The pros are that you get your own voice heard. No one changes your story, holds up your publishing dates, or demands personal appearances. The cons are that small publishers do very little if any advertising for you. You are pretty much on your own in that department. Also, you will not be able to get into the big publishing houses with a small press unless you are very lucky or well-connected. You simply have to decide what kind of career you are interested in pursuing.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole? 
The publishing business has certainly changed. Books can go for as low as .99 cents for an electronic version. It is much harder to make a living as a writer, and the bigger publishing houses are much more selective about who they choose now that so many people can publish on their own. That being said, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own work in print. I love the business and plan to write for as long as God will let me.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors? 
It is a good idea to establish a presence in the publishing world before trying to find an agent or an established publisher. Most people are looking for someone who displays signs of independent success before they will trust you with their connections. My friends who are indie authors say they like being able to publish immediately. I like that too. However, at this point in my publishing career, I am looking to find a bigger publisher or an agent with an interest in my genre. Who knows … maybe my next book will be the next Fifty Shades of Gray.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors? 
My best advice would be to make sure you write what you love. Writer’s block is less frequent if you love your genre. Also, when you are ready to publish, make sure you have a clean query letter and synopsis. That is really the hardest part. Do the research, and if help is available to you, take it.
Here are some ways you can get more information on me and my books.
Website – www.JudySerrano.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JudySerranoAuthor/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AuthorJSerrano
Amazon.com - https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Judy+Serrnao
Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Judy+Serrano?_requestid=358183

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Michael Okon


Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

His latest book is the YA Fiction/Monsters/Thriller Monsterland Reanimated.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website:

About the Book:

After Monsterland has imploded, the entire world is thrown into chaos. World leadership is gone, economies have collapsed, and communications are non-existent.  Wyatt must go beyond the
boundaries of his small town to reestablish contact with the outside world, and alert the government about a traitor-in-chief.

During his journey he discovers a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park.

When an army of relentless mummies, a life-sucking ooze called The Glob, and a hybrid reanimated Behemoth rise from the depths of Monsterland, who will survive?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon Link:
iBooks Link:
Kobo Link:
Barnes & Nobel Link:
SmashWords Link:

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: I’ve been writing since I’m five years old. Fast forward 35 years later. I have 3 best-selling self-published self-help books, 15 self-published novels, a literary agent, an entertainment attorney, a film agent, two published books,
Is this your first book?
Author: Nope. Number 19.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: I was picked up by this incredible boutique press called WordFire, ran by the incomparable Kevin J. Anderson.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author: My agent decided to go with a boutique publisher for my first book so I could get my feet wet. It’s been incredible working with real professionals. With self-publishing, you have to do everything yourself. With a publisher, you basically have unlimited support and they handle everything.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: The publishing process is slow. You have to trust the people and the process to come out with the best product.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: If you have an agent, definitely. Better off starting small and building to a bigger position, than starting big. I’d much rather be a big fish in a little pond, then a small fish in a big pond.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Be patient! Nothing happens overnight. You will not be able to buy the yacht quite yet.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Christine Amsden, Author of FROZEN


Name: Christine Amsden
Book Title: Frozen
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Link to book:
Frozen (Cassie Scot Book Seven)
Print Release: July 15, 2018
Audiobook Release: TBA
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)

INTERVIEW:
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: I don’t think I ever decided to become an author … writing is just something I’ve always done! I’ve been writing since I was in grade school, always with a flair for the extraordinary. 
As far as this particular book goes, it happened like this: I wrote the original Cassie Scot Quartet, determined that these four books more or less told a complete story and that it was over. Well, except she had two good friends who each needed stories of their own. So in came books five and six (Madison’s Song and Kaitlin’s Tale, aka the spin-offs). But that was it. 
Except … Cassie is a bit persistent and was not done with me. She kept tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Excuse me, but life doesn’t end when you get married. Did your life end when you got married?” 
Hard to argue with, really. 
Is this your first book?
Author: This is my … hang on, let me think … it’s going to be my 9th published book, but I’ve got another completed book waiting in limbo which I technically wrote ahead of this one. Plus another nearly complete book, which I wrote afterward. Oh, and a handful of trunked novels we’re going to pretend never happened. :) 
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: Small press – this was an easy choice because Twilight Times Books published the other six books in the series and had the option. I was happy to let her have this one too, although the reason I’m sitting on a couple other books is because I may branch out and try something different with my next, new series. 
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author: I love that I went with a small press first, honestly. It is definitely something that has some pros and cons – you don’t quite have the same freedoms you have with self-publishing or the same clout you get with big press publishing. Yet for all I sometimes feel stuck in the middle, I also have an ally in publishing, someone who has become a friend over the years and who supports my journey with her whole heart. You have to be careful with small presses, but I would recommend Twilight Times Books to anyone who doesn’t want to go it alone, but who doesn’t think big publishing is a good fit either. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: At this point, I feel that there is no one right way to publish a book. There are definitely some wrong ways, especially slapping your first-ever rough draft on Amazon without so much as proofreading it and helping give every self-published author a bad name. But complete unprofessionalism aside, we all have our own journey to make. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: I would recommend Twilight Times Books to other authors. I caution them when it comes to small presses – do your homework! Some so-called small presses are frauds, even vanity presses. If a publisher EVER asks you for money, run away! A small press may not be able to give you an advance, but they should never ever ask you for money to publish your book. There are other pitfalls, too – talk to authors and get the facts before you submit a manuscript.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Remember that, first and foremost, writing is supposed to be fun.

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About the book:

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.
When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.
Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.
Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.
No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.